Raul Ponce-Rocha will be getting a new attorney.
The 22-year-old Wausau man is charged with First Degree Intentional Homicide in the May death of 18-year-old Breanna Schneller.
Tuesday afternoon, Judge Patrick Brady granted a motion by Ponce-Rocha's original attorney, Gene Linehan, to withdraw from the trial, because Ponce-Rocha could no longer afford to pay his fee.
The court is now examining whether or not Ponce-Rocha will qualify for a public defender, but a new attorney may not have time to prepare before the jury trial, scheduled to start February 1.
"Everybody wants a fair and just trial, and a very prepared trial, if that can't happen by February there may be a delay," says Theresa Wetzsteon, Deputy District Attorney for Marathon County.
A status conference is set for Ponce-Rocha on October 22; if he qualifies, a public defender will be assigned to the case on that date.
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